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United States boosts Tanzania COVID-19 management

The United States government has committed to supporting Tanzania’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the management of the pandemic cases in referral hospitals. The support channelled through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will be implemented through a project that was launched yesterday in Dodoma Capital.

The 10-month project worth over 1.7bn/- aims to ensure health facilities provide the best care for COVID-19 patients with critical needs, ultimately improving their chances of survival and recovery speed. Execution of the project will be carried out at the Dodoma Regional Referral Hospital (Dodoma), Bombo Regional Referral Hospital (Tanga), Mount Meru Regional Referral Hospital (Arusha) and Sekou Toure Regional Referral Hospital (Mwanza).

This support includes mitigating the impact of the pandemic on society, equitable access and delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, reducing morbidity and mortality from COVID-19

Speaking at the launch of the project, the USAID Project Management Specialist, Dr. Miriam Kombe, said the project will also strengthen health care workers’ management of the cases to enable an effective, life-saving and sustainable COVID-19 response. “This support includes mitigating the impact of the pandemic on society, equitable access and delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, reducing morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 and preventing and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on our AIDS relief programmes and beneficiaries.” Dr Kombe added

“The COVID-19 pandemic is among the most pressing challenges to the health, well-being and economic security of all people. We must work together to address this pandemic with urgency.” According to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Tanzania, the project is going to be implemented by Save the Children, noting that the funds will be used to support the provision of oxygen therapy equipment and training for health care workers. Such training will focus on the appropriate use and maintenance of the equipment, in order to provide quality services and expand critical care for COVID-19 patients with respiratory distress.

The statement stated that training will also include the development and distribution of job aids, based on approved national guidelines, as well as follow-up support for oxygen therapy after the departure of trainers. “The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency with unprecedented reach and rapidly evolving health system challenges,” noted the statement. In the statement, the US government expressed commitment to work side by side with the Government of Tanzania on their National COVID-19 Response Plan.

Such commitment includes partnering with all stakeholders in Tanzania’s Health sector to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and ensure the health and safety of the entire community. “USAID’s broad support includes mitigating the impact of the pandemic on society, equitable access and delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, reducing morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, and preventing and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on HIV / AIDS relief programmes and beneficiaries. To date, USAID has invested a total of $25,1m in these areas,” noted the statement.

On July 24th, this year Tanzania received the first batch of 1,058,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine donated by the US government through the COVAX arrangement. In mounting efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the government over the past two months rolled out its countrywide vaccination campaign, whereas over 350,000 people have already taken the COVID-19 jabs.

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